Southampton have been tipped by two pundits to secure a positive result against Bournemouth this evening.
Saints have been in good form of late and have the chance to propel themselves to third on the Premier League table with a win.
However, Bournemouth have the same opportunity at St Mary’s and will be determined to force their way into the upper echelons of the division with a strong performance.
Southampton may be narrow favourites for the match because of the home advantage, and Mark Lawrenson thinks Saints will secure a tight 2-1 victory.
He wrote for BBC Sport:
I was a bit worried about Saints after they lost their first two games but they have really picked up since then and, like Bournemouth, their aim for this season has to be to get into the top 10.
I am going to go with Southampton to edge this one, but it should be a good game and I am expecting the Cherries to create a few chances.
Meanwhile, Charlie Nicholas also believes that Southampton will win, but in a rather more dramatic fashion.
Tipping Saints for a 3-2 triumph, the pundit wrote for Sky Sports:
It is little Bournemouth against mighty Southampton as they used to say. Bournemouth tend to travel but do not truly believe that the system is the right one for them. Eddie Howe doesn’t always have a plan B.
Che Adams needs a goal for Southampton. With the lack of strikers they have, he should expect pressure – that is what comes with being a Premier League striker. They have to prove themselves. He has lacked chances and that is always a worry for me. I have a feeling on Friday that it could be his day.
It will be nice and open, which encourages Bournemouth to attack. I did fancy Southampton last week, but the problem they have is their limited numbers. Ralph Hasenhuttl has something they can deliver.
Read Southampton’s verdict
Any win will do. I’m sure Saints will be keen to continue with their impressive defensive record against Bournemouth, but on paper, this is a game that is likely to have goals in it.
This fixture ended in a 3-3 draw at St Mary’s last season, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s a similar type of match tonight.
It’s nice that pundits are taking notice of our good start to the campaign, but everyone will be wary of just how dangerous Bournemouth can be when they drive forward.
Also, Nicholas might just want to rewatch Che Adams and his performances in the past five games. There’s definitely been more than enough chances… fingers crossed he can have a bit of luck and net one this evening.